One of my favorite back to school read alouds is The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill. It is one of those books that can be read during the first week of school or anytime during the year. It’s definitely one to add to your collection. Today, I want to show you some of my favorite follow up activities to use with this book!
The Recess Queen Back to School Read Aloud
Before reading, I always liked to have students give words that describe a bully and a friend and create an anchor chart to activate prior knowledge. I recommend writing the words on sticky notes so that you can use the anchor chart year after year.
After reading it the first time, we talk about the main character, Mean Jean, and create an anchor chart with character traits that describe her.
Afterwards, we follow up with writing about ways that we are not a bully. I usually always provide a few sentence stems to get them started on their writing. I would recommend doing the same depending on the age of your students. In the past years I’ve also had my students write about Mean Jean. There are several different writing prompt pages included in this resource.
The next day, we usually go over what a recess friend looks like and sort scenario cards in a pocket chart whole group.
During the second read, I like to focus on Katie Sue. In the past we have created a venn-diagram and compare the two characters. We have also used index cards and summarized the story and/or how the characters change from the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Another way was when we made connections to Katie Sue and wrote ways that we are recess friends. Here’s a few different examples of ways to use the Katie Sue craft.
I absolutely love this book. It can be used all week long and used for so many skills.
To wrap up our recess unit, we practice lining up for recess to the song below. The kids always love it!